Author Archive | Good German

Sam Harris’s Faith in Eastern Spirituality and Muslim Torture

810l8Db120LJohn Gorenfeld writing at Alternet in 2007:

Sam Harris’s books “The End Of Faith” and “Letter To A Christian Nation” have established him as second only to the British biologist and author Richard Dawkins in the ranks of famous 21st century atheists. The thrust of Harris’s best-sellers is that with the world so crazed by religion, it’s high time Americans stopped tolerating faith in the Rapture, the Resurrection and anything else not grounded in evidence. Only trouble is, our country’s foremost promoter of “reason” is also supportive of ESP, reincarnation and other unscientific concepts. Not all of it is harmless yoga class hokum — he’s also a proponent of waterboarding and other forms of torture.

“We know [torture] works. It has worked. It’s just a lie to say that it has never worked,” he says. “Accidentally torturing a few innocent people” is no big deal next to bombing them, he continues.

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Is it a Hate Crime to Call Madonna a Shriveled-Up Old Hag?

Jim Goad writes at Taki’s Magazine:

Geriatric whore Madonna, that Italian slut who sucked and fucked her way to the top of the pop charts sometime wayyyyy back in the early 1980s and has been pooping out hits ever since, fell flat on her 56-year-old ass last week during a performance at the Brit Music Awards. This rapidly led to several cruel variations of “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” jokes on social media.

After carefully adjusting her hearing aid, swallowing her water pills, fastening her colostomy bag, and arriving late for an interview on her Rascal Electrical Scooter, Madonna accused her tormentors of engaging in “ageism,” which she likened to racism and homophobia.

The near-billionaire slag born Madonna Louise Ciccone recently told Rolling Stone:

No one would dare to say a degrading remark about being black or dare to say a degrading remark on Instagram about someone being gay….But my age – anybody and everybody would say something degrading to me.

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People Who Do Noise

2008 documentary by Adam Cornelius:

Noise: a genre that is difficult for the average person to appreciate. However, when one sees its creation firsthand or creates it oneself, noise becomes a type of musical art that takes on its own appeal and meaning. In People Who Do Noise, noise becomes associated with faces, through interviews with dozens of Portland noise musicians. The documentary gives viewers who might be unfamiliar with the controversial genre a deeper look.

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10 Ways To Shut Down A Fellow Christian Who Is An American Sniper Critic

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Benjamin L. Corey writes at Patheos:

With all the chatter surrounding the new film, American Sniper: The Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. History, you might encounter a few Christian friends who are not fawning over Chris Kyle’s legacy of killing.

I don’t know where you’d see this, or why you’d see this criticism, but I’m just saying, you might. When you encounter this online, you’re going to need some handy tools to try to shut these ignorant “Christians” down since criticizing military conquests is something a Christian should never do. But, have no fear! I am here to help. I’ve studied this issue closely, and I have ten guaranteed ways to shut down a fellow Christian who is an American Sniper critic:

10. Tweet them incessantly.

You know that Bible verse about praying without ceasing? In this case, you need to apply that to Twitter. If you tweet at them once or twice, they’ll probably miss your tweet– so tweet them a good 30 times or so to make sure they are aware of your displeasure with them.

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The Vanquished Light

Michael Welton writes at CounterPunch:

From its founding, America has cast itself as a kind of redeemer nation unlike other nations (see E. Tuveson, Redeemer Nation: the Idea of America’s Millennial Role (1968) and J. Axtell, The School Upon a Hill: Education and Society in Colonial New England (1974)). The first emperors—Alexander the Great and the Roman Caesars—created myths of their descent from the gods. Alexander was “great” because he was descended from semi-divine beings. Augustus declared himself a son of a god. He raised a statue to his adoptive father, Julius Caesar, on a stage alongside Mars and Venus—not bad company. The USA engages in the same sort of myth-making. The Puritans came with an “errand in the wilderness” to build the New Jerusalem. They had no doubt that eradicating the indigenous people was within their god’s will, part of the divinely-promised land.

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Urine Power to Light Camps in Disaster Zones


Via ScienceDaily:

A toilet, conveniently situated near the Student Union Bar at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), is proving that urine can generate electricity.

The prototype urinal is the result of a partnership between researchers at UWE Bristol and Oxfam. It is hoped the pee-power technology will light cubicles in refugee camps, which are often dark and dangerous places particularly for women.

Students and staff are being asked to use the urinal to donate pee to fuel microbial fuel cell (MFC) stacks that generate electricity to power indoor lighting.

The research team is led by Professor Ioannis Ieropoulos, Director of the Bristol BioEnergy Centre located in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory at UWE Bristol.

Professor Ieropoulos says, “We have already proved that this way of generating electricity works. Work by the Bristol BioEnergy Centre hit the headlines in 2013 when the team demonstrated that electricity generated by microbial fuel cell stacks could power a mobile phone.

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Why I Joined the Good Men Project, Not the Good Person Project

Robert Couse-Baker (CC BY 2.0)

Robert Couse-Baker (CC BY 2.0)

Jed Diamond writes at at the Good Men Project:

When I first read Tom Matlack’s collection of stories about defining moments in men’s lives, I felt I was among kindred spirits. Tom found there was a connection between all the stories:

There was a moment when each man woke up, looking in the mirror and said, “I thought I knew what it meant to be a man. I thought I knew what it meant to be good. And I realize that I don’t know either.”

The only difference for me was that growing up I never had a clear sense of what it meant to be a man or what it meant to be a good man. My father was a writer and actor who became increasingly depressed when he couldn’t find meaningful work to support his family. When I was five years old he tried to commit suicide and spent the next seven years at Camarillo State Mental Hospital.

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Monkeys, Money, and The Primate Origins of Human Irrationality with Laurie Santos

Via You Are Not So Smart:

Our guest in this episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast is psychologist Laurie Santos who heads the Comparative Cognition Laboratory at Yale University. In that lab, she and her colleagues are exploring the fact that when two species share a relative on the evolutionary family tree, not only do they share similar physical features, but they also share similar behaviors. Psychologists and other scientists have used animals to study humans for a very long time, but Santos and her colleagues have taken it a step further by choosing to focus on a closer relation, the capuchin monkey; that way they could investigate subtler, more complex aspects of human decision making – like cognitive biases.

One of her most fascinating lines of research has come from training monkeys how to use money. That by itself is worthy of a jaw drop or two.

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War on Wildlife Crime – Time to Enlist the Ordinary Citizen

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Bradnee Chambers writes at Common Dreams:

It is no exaggeration to say that we are facing a “wildlife crisis”, and it is a crisis exacerbated by human activities, not least criminal ones.

Whatever our definition of wildlife crime, it is big business. In terms of annual turn-over it is up there narcotics, arms and human trafficking – and the proceeds run into billions of dollars each year, helping to finance criminal gangs and rebel organizations waging civil wars.

With seven billion people on the planet, it is tempting to shrug one’s shoulders and ask “What difference can any one individual make?”  Such an attitude means that we are in danger of repeating the “tragedy of the commons” – everyone making seemingly rational decisions in their own immediate interests – but this is a short-sighted approach that undermines the common good and ultimately sows the seeds of its own downfall.

With seven billion people on the planet, it is also tempting to say that people’s need for food, shelter and well-being should take precedence over nature conservation, but the two are not necessarily irreconcilable.  In fact far from it – the two often go hand in hand and are totally compatible – non-consumptive use of wildlife, such as whale-watching and safaris, provide sustainable livelihoods for thousands of people.

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Marine Corps Veteran Questions “American Sniper” Movie-Goers

How does modern propaganda work? How effective is it? Adam blows these issues wide open with an incredible series of man on the street interviews. For the record, this was not a selective group, or even in a particularly conservative or pro-military area. The people you see in this video were the first seven people on the 3rd St Promenade in Santa Monica, California who answered yes to, “Did you see American Sniper? Do you think Chris Kyle is a hero? Would you like to do a quick interview for my YouTube channel?” I was simply seeking a good age and gender variety.

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